Richmond: Rod Fuller final summary

Fuller runner-up in Richmond RICHMOND, Va. (Oct. 15) -"Hot Rod" Fuller, driving the Valvoline Top Fuel dragster, has captured the runner-up title, his third of the season, at the rain-delayed, inaugural Torco Race Fuels NHRA Nationals at...

Fuller runner-up in Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (Oct. 15) -"Hot Rod" Fuller, driving the Valvoline Top Fuel dragster, has captured the runner-up title, his third of the season, at the rain-delayed, inaugural Torco Race Fuels NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park.

In his final round matchup against veteran Cory McClenathan, Fuller got the advantage off the starting line with a .045-second reaction time to his opponent's .073. Isn't wasn't enough however as McClenathan's machine powered through Fuller's tire smoke to claim the victory, reaching the quarter mile stripe in 4.644-seconds at 304.74-mph to Fuller's 5.926-second run at 262.49-mph.

"I was ready for him," Fuller said. "I had him off the line but we gave the track a little more power than it could handle. Every team out here has been battling it all weekend long. All in all though it was a great day for this Valvoline team. I can't wait to race at home, in Las Vegas, in a couple of weeks so we can show the hometown fans what this David Powers team is all about."

Round-by-round, Fuller knocked out some of the hottest teams on the POWERade Drag Racing circuit as the season winds down.

Fuller, the weekends no. 3 qualifier, started Sunday eliminations lined up against stalwart Doug Herbert who qualified 14th. The race was over in a heartbeat as Herbert smoked the tires at the hit of the throttle while Fuller ran a clean pass at 4.582-seconds at 310.05-mph.

Round two saw former Super Comp champion Fuller dismiss former Top Fuel Champion Larry Dixon with a similarly impressive quarter-mile jaunt. Fuller tripped the timers at 4.593-seconds at 305.84-mph after Dixon struck the hides shortly after hitting the throttle.

The third round of eliminations didn't quite go as planned for Fuller or his opponent, J.R. Todd. Despite having almost identical reaction times, both cars went into tire smoke shortly after leaving the starting line. As the two drivers tried to control their respective nitro-breathing beasts, it was Fuller who got the Valvoline car to recover quickest and eventually get the win.

"Man, I didn't think we were going to make it," Fuller said. "Once I got the car under control I knew the engine was hurt but I wasn't about to give up. Just before we got to the 1320 mark, she let go. These cars don't like you to work the throttle too much and it told me so that time."

Because of his superior peddaling ability in round three, Fuller earned the right to call which lane he wanted to run in his race against Cory McClenathan who defeated David Grubnic, David Baca and points leader Doug Kalitta in earlier match-ups. McClenathan's experience at VMP, with wins in '95, '98 and '99 proved to be a little too much as he marched to the finish line ahead of Fuller.

With only two events remaining on the 2006 schedule Fuller bumps back into the no. five spot in POWERade points and maintains the no. three position in Budweiser Shootout points. The Bud Shootout is a race within a race, reserved for the 8 most consistently successful Top Fuel qualifiers during the season with the winner to be determined at the ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals in two weeks.

-credit: dpm

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Larry Dixon , Doug Kalitta , David Baca , David Grubnic , Cory McClenathan , Rod Fuller , J.R. Todd